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Board of Regents approves $1 million raise for men's basketball coach Tommy Lloyd

Arizona's Tommy Lloyd speaks at a news conference as he is introduced as The Associated Press men's basketball coach of the year at the Final Four. He received 28 votes to edge Providence's Ed Cooley, who got 21 votes.

The Arizona Board of Regents unanimously approved a revised five-year contract for Arizona men's basketball coach Tommy Lloyd that will give him a $1 million raise, with a total school-paid compensation of $3.6 million next season, during its meeting Thursday afternoon in Flagstaff.

Lloyd led the Wildcats to a 33-4 record and a No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed in his first season in 2021-22, and Arizona AD Dave Heeke told the Regents that Lloyd "brought the program together at a critical time." UA still faces an NCAA infractions case for alleged violations during the tenure of Sean Miller, who was fired and replaced by Lloyd in April 2021.

During the public portion of the Regents' meeting, Chair Lyndel Manson said said the Regents did have discussions about the terms and, while they were "difficult to swallow" because so much money was involved, she said the Regents realized it was "extraordinarily important" to the University of Arizona.

Manson also noted that Lloyd brought success and integrity in his first year, while thanking Heeke for the hires he has made.

"It's been a huge change and I think very much in the right direction," Manson said. "I'm very appreciative of that. And I think that environment sets the tone for a lot of the university."

Lloyd's $4 million guaranteed package, which also includes about $200,000 each from Nike and IMG, likely makes him the Pac-12's second-highest paid basketball coach, behind only UCLA’s Mick Cronin.

As a private school, USC is not obligated to release the salary of coach Andy Enfield, who is also among the league's highest-paid coaches (a school tax filing said Enfield made $3.29 million in fiscal 2020.)

Had it been on the books last season, Lloyd’s $4 million package would have ranked just outside the Top 10 nationally last season, according to USA Today’s college basketball coaching salary database.

The deal through 2026-27 will raise Lloyd's salary $100,000 after every season through 2026-27, when he’ll be contracted to earn a school-paid package of $4.0 million plus the Nike and IMG income.

In a statement UA released after the deal was approved, Lloyd gave thanks all around.

"I am thankful for the continued support of Arizona basketball, but our players and staff deserve credit for making my first year a special one," Lloyd said. "Everyone played an important role in helping us win two Pac-12 championships while competing at the highest level.

"I would also like to give a special thank you to the Arizona Board of Regents, president Dr. Robert C. Robbins and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke for their unwavering commitment to our program, who, along with our incredible fans, make Arizona such a special place.

Receiving Pac-12 and several national coach of the year honors last season after taking over for Miller in April 2021, Lloyd led the Wildcats well beyond expectations in what was his first season as a head coach. The Wildcats went 33-4, won the Pac-12 regular-season and tournament titles, then earned a No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed.

In UA's proposal to the Regents, the school said it wanted to rework Lloyd’s contract after his “overwhelmingly successful” first season, while also stiffening up a buyout provision intended to lock the coach in. Lloyd will have to pay UA $12 million if he opts to leave within the first two years of the deal, up from a $5 million buyout if he had left in the first two years of his previous deal.

Lloyd will have to pay $6 million if he leaves in the third year of the contract, and $2 million if in the fourth, fifth or in any additional years that might be given to him if NCAA sanctions hit the program.

"This really is a move and a commitment on both sides to have coach Lloyd with us for a very long time," Heeke said, "to continue to lead the program and continue to build the program as we all want and be a key member of our university community well into the future."

UA says it will propose a sixth year for Lloyd if NCAA sanctions stemming from actions before his arrival result in a postseason ban, the loss of two or more scholarships or other “material restrictions” in recruiting for a year.Under the new proposal, a sixth year now would come with a school-paid package of $4.1 million. UA said a second extra contract year at $4.2 million would be proposed if the sanctions are handed down for more than one year.

Contact sports reporter Bruce Pascoe at 573-4146 or bpascoe@tucson.com. On Twitter @brucepascoe


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